Innovative, internationally acclaimed artists open Jazz at Holmes spring series

Washington University’s Jazz at Holmes series will feature internationally acclaimed musicians Marc Copland, Gary Peacock and Bill Stewart in concert at 8 p.m. Feb. 13 in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall at the 560 Music Center.

The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences. Admission is $5 for students; $15 for faculty and staff; and $20 for the public.

“This trio, with the legendary Gary Peacock and drum virtuoso Bill Stewart, is the most progressive piano trio on the international jazz scene,” said William Lenihan, a Jazz at Holmes series coordinator and director of jazz performance and instructor in guitar and jazz theory in the Department of Music. “Marc Copland’s harmonic sense is unrivaled, where Peacock’s playing calls to mind the entire history of jazz.”

Copland is recognized as an innovator with a unique grasp of harmony and color and is considered by many to be the foremost proponent of the lyrical school of jazz pianism today. Formerly a saxophonist, Copland has 18 critically acclaimed releases to his credit.

He has performed as leader or sideman with Michael Brecker, Ralph Towner, Randy Brecker, John Scofield, Billy Hart and others.

Over the past five decades, Peacock has established himself as one of the most versatile and talented bass players in jazz. Influenced by avant-garde saxophonist Albert Ayler and studies in Eastern music and philosophy, Peacock asserts that the disparities between traditional and experimental music are not as great as one might think.

He has played and recorded with both mainstream and avant-garde jazz luminaries, including Ayler, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Art Pepper, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Paul Bley, Jimmy Giuffre, Jan Garbarek, Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock. Peacock continues to collaborate and perform with pianist Bley, with whom he has worked since the 1960s.

Stewart is an American jazz drummer who has performed with a broad array of musicians from Maceo Parker to Jim Hall. Stewart’s association with Parker led to Stewart’s memorable gig with the great James Brown, who told Stewart that there “Ain’t no funk in Iowa!” upon learning the drummer’s roots. Musical associations with the likes of Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny and many other notable jazz musicians have followed. Stewart also is a composer whose distinctive tunes, often categorized as “postmodern” jazz tunes, appear on his and others’ records.

Subsequent concerts in the Jazz at Holmes series are free, held at Holmes Lounge and are open to the public. Launched in 1996, Jazz at Holmes features coffeehouse-style concerts with professional jazz musicians from the St. Louis area and those known on the national and international scene, most Thursdays throughout the academic year.

The spring schedule

Feb. 19. The Mosby Music Group plays original jazz-fusion.

Feb. 26. The Sometime Then and Again quartet performs electric ambient jazz with Dave Stone and William Lenihan.

March 5. The Portnoy, Lenihan and Guth Trio features music of jazz modernists Richie Beirach and John Abercombie.

March 19. Kim Portnoy and Lenihan team up again to play the music of Bill Evans and Jim Hall.

March 26. Guitarist Chris Burchett and his quartet perform.

April 2. Vocalist Jan Shapiro and guitarist Lenihan turn to standards recorded by Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass.

April 9. The Wee Trio from New York presents new music for vibraphone, bass and drums.

April 16. The series closes with St. Louis vocalist Anita Rosamond, who takes familiar jazz standards and imbues them with her own melodic sound.

The series also is sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences, Office of Residential Life, Student Union, University College and Summer School, Congress of the South 40, Office of Student Activities, New Student Orientation, Greek Life Office, Annika Rodriguez Scholars Program, Community Service Program, Event Services and Michael Cannon, executive vice chancellor and general counsel.

For more information, contact Sue Taylor at or 862-0874. To receive e-mail notices about future events, e-mail